With the next round of ISO ‘firefighters PPE’ meetings just around the corner,our National PPE Technical Advisor, Brett Egan-Briers explains what will be discussed and decided during the 4 days of meetings.
The main topic for the meetings will be the revision of the ISO 11999 series of standards, which covers all elements of “PPE used by firefighters who are at risk of exposure to high levels of heat and flame while fighting fires in structures”. There are generally 10 parts to ensemble standards, covering each specific element of an ensemble. This series of standards does not include Parts 7 and 8 (Hearing and Eye protection) as they are covered by other standards:
Part 1: General
Part 2: Compatibility
Part 3: Clothing
Part 4: Gloves
Part 5: Helmets
Part 6: Footwear
Part 9: Firehoods
Part 10: Respiratory Protective Devices
Each of the above parts has its own project group that meets during the week to discuss all the collated comments received and aims to come to a consensus on what changes should be made to the documents. These changes and any further proposals are then taken to the working group meetings (as discussed in previous post) for formal agreement before moving to the next stage.
Revision of standards involves various stages whereby national comments of both a technical and editorial nature are considered, discussed and agreed by consensus; this can often mean that a revision or new standard can take between 24-36 months to become the latest version.
Firefighter safety is always the consideration when revising these standards and as such particulate protection will be one of the major discussions during all the meetings. Currently this type of firefighters PPE does not have a test method to determine the level of protection afforded against this risk and the project groups will need to ensure that any new test method is consistent and repeatable so it can be assessed fairly across the globe.
Furthermore, by introducing new protection requirements, care needs to be taken to ensure that other protective qualities are not adversely effected.
Other standards being discussed at this meeting include:
ISO 21942: Station uniform for firefighters
ISO 13506: Skin burn injury prediction
ISO 23616: Cleaning, inspection and repair of firefighters’ PPE
ISO 21808: Guidance on the selection, use, care and maintenance of PPE designed to provide protection for firefighters